Gayatri had always dreaded her school reunions unlike most of the alumnae of her famous St. Joseph’s Convent School. She would certainly have given it a miss but for her soulmate Sakshi. She was looking forward to meeting her.
“Gayatri, won’t it be fun meeting old friends,” she had called her,” How lucky that we have our Alumna Meet when I am visiting my parents.”
Gayatri knew how it would be like. The ladies in their fashionable attires and elaborate hairdos would flaunt their diamonds ,chiseled figures and cleverly acquired husbands.
They would stutter around talking about their riches, elaborate homes, exotic pets, manicured lawns or foreign trips.
Their husbands would discuss politics or cricket or would be flirting with others’ wives.
She was apprehensive that even Sakshi would be lost in the crowd, chatting and smiling with others.
All the bullying and body shaming she had suffered during her school days rushed back to her mind.
Now those naive teenagers were so called sophisticated ladies,they wouldn’t call her fatso openly, but had devised other methods of torturing her.
She remembered how Madhu had looked at her with apparent disdain on her face. After a long minute she suggested,” Gayatri, if you slim down a bit and get your hair straight,you will certainly look beautiful.” All the others looked amused as if it were a joke.
“Is she unmarried so far?“
“Who will marry such fat and drab looking woman! ”
“Should I talk to her about my widowed uncle?“ chirped in the other.
”Shhhh —-she is coming this way.” She had overheard a group talking about her.
Gayatri had been struggling with hormonal problem all through her life. People generously showered her with advice or taunts.
Love and empathy were scarce.
Her parents supported her at every step but that wasn’t enough for her. She needed assurance from others.
All this had made her shy and self-centred. In spite of her good score she fumbled at interviews. Yet she was able to land a good job.
With each passing day her self esteem was ebbing.
She wasn’t keen on getting married.“ I don’t want anyone to marry me out of sympathy.”
Sakshi arrived like the pleasant breeze of spring.” Nothing doing Gayatri , how faded you look! You can’t ignore yourself. Come with me to the beauty parlour.”
“Is beauty only thing that matters?”
“No, it is not . But show some love to yourself. Treat yourself like a queen, dear, indulgent yourself. No one deserves to be treated better than your own self.”
She looked at herself in the mirror afterwards. Her round face with two soulful eyes stared back at her. “That’s not very bad.” She thought to herself.
Things were making sense to Gayatri. She decided to give philautia a chance.
She was all smiles and exuberated confidence at The Meet. She had an aura of happiness about her.
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